Brussels, 4 March 2009
The European Personnel Selection Office (EPSO) took its first practical and very visible steps towards modernised and streamlined selection methods that are to become fully operational next year. From today, notices of competition are published in all 23 official languages for the first time. Prospective candidates are encouraged to take some voluntary interactive tests even before filling in the application form. This allows them to assess for themselves whether they are ready to take a selection competition. A clearer application form and on-line help for filling this in make the process much easier for candidates. Also today, EPSO is launching a new, more intuitive layout of its website and a new brand and logo - under the slogan "EU career - smart choice". This emphasises the wide range of attractive opportunities on offer from the EU institutions
There is growing recognition among the EU institutions of rapid improvements in performance, responsiveness and transparency now being achieved by the European Personnel Selection Office (EPSO). Having convinced its stakeholders, EPSO's efforts in the coming months will focus on steadily improving the service it offers to candidates and on its marketing and advertising of competitions to specific target groups to ensure that sufficient candidates of the desired profile actually apply.
There is currently an acute shortage of candidate linguists applying to work as conference interpreters and translators and of suitably qualified applicants in more general fields, where citizens' awareness of European careers opportunities is lower.
In marking today's launch, a number of the EU institutions have expressed their appreciation of developments, as shown by the following comments:
Siim Kallas, Vice President of the European Commission: "This launch is the first practical step in EPSO's ambitious programme for modernising and streamlining its selection methods, making sure that we have a ready supply of the right people to come and work for us".
John Speed, Chairman of EPSO's Management Board and acting Secretary General of the European Court of Auditors: "EPSO has taken up the challenge to modernise selection procedures for the EU institutions and it is very encouraging to see the speed with which our plans are being brought to fruition".
Harald Rømer, Secretary General of the European Parliament: "Without EPSO we could not have dealt efficiently with the challenge of Enlargement in the field of recruitment. I greatly welcome its modernisation plans and the speeding up of the recruitment process in order to meet future needs, while taking into account the diversity of the Institutions."
Roger Grass, Registrar of the Court of Justice and former Chairman of the Management Board of EPSO: "Since its creation a few years ago, EPSO has used all its resources to organise successfully, to the benefit of all the institutions, the numerous open competitions needed as a result of the enlargements of the EU in 2004 and 2007. This task has now been achieved and the action programme established by EPSO, which from now on will be able to concentrate on increasing effectiveness, responsiveness, transparency and openness, is therefore to be welcomed."
Martin Westlake, Secretary General of the European Economic and Social Committee: "We have to be able to attract the right people for the right jobs, both for the sake of the European Union and its institutions but also for the sake of the candidates joining us. Modernising the way the EU's institutions select staff is an important step in the right direction".
David Bearfield, Director of EPSO: "We must actively promote awareness of the many different careers opportunities we have to offer, in order to attract Europe's brightest and best to come and work for the EU".
On 18 July 2008, EPSO announced a development programme (IP EPSO/08/01) for modernising its approach to selection of candidates. Complementing this is a strategy to attract good candidates from all over Europe. From 2010, candidates will be tested on the basis of competence rather than knowledge. The time lag between a candidate's initial application and taking up employment will be cut from over 15 months today, to just 5-9 months. This will be achieved by organising competitions in annual cycles, from 2010. The first very visible and concrete steps towards implementation of this development programme have been coordinated for simultaneous publication today.
The recent improvements in administrative procedures and transparency achieved by EPSO have also been noticed by the European Ombudsman. In a letter received from Mr Nikiforos Diamandouros last December, EPSO was cited as one of "six star cases which illustrate how a constructive response to the Ombudsman's criticisms and suggestions can help promote a culture of service, thereby serving Europe's citizens better and winning their trust."
For more information:
Mrs. Agne Martikoniene +32-2 296 01 99
Mr. Nick Heenan +32-2 296 34 53